26 March 2003 | kensmark
Not Bad for Its Time
This movie probably looked a lot better in 1985, when it came out. By modern standards, it's a little too light and too slow for a horror movie, a little too mild and obvious for suspense, and not quite quirky enough as pure film.
That said, it's not badly made. Nicely filmed, with decent performances, and both a truly beautiful vintage Jaguar and truly beautiful New Zealand scenery. The story cleverly combines and twists a few urban legends and ghost stories which -- through no fault of the filmmakers -- have become cliches by now. Again, they would have seemed much fresher in 1985.
The twist ending is pretty clever, although it's foreshadowed a little too broadly. For a small-budget suspense/horror film, it all adds up to 'not bad', but not fantastic either. I'd say that it has the feeling of a made-for-TV film.
What's strange about this movie -- released in the US on video as "Dark of the Night", for some reason -- is that the box boasted half a dozen strong reviews, from "Playboy" and the Village Voice among other sources. It's worth a rental if you like gentler suspense films (no gore in this one) or are a particular fan of 80's and/or New Zealand horror films.